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Direction

Left-Laners, Rubber-Neckers, and Swervers

We are driven by a sense of purpose.

We can find that purpose by moving forward in a direction that aligns with who we are and what we want to become. Russian philosopher and writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky said, “The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.”

“Something to live for” becomes a mission statement. It’s hard to maintain any momentum if your direction, or mission, lacks definition.

Enter: a metaphor.

There are those people we can think of who, when asked about their life mission or philosophy, can immediately rattle off an answer. These folks are driven and have a focus. These Left-Laners are cruising down the highway. They know the direction. They are “put together.” The life purpose of the Left-Laners is concise. Their actions make sense when the mission is verbalized. Everything they do can be framed within the context of the purpose set in front of them.

Others are driving down the road, but swerving between lanes. These Swervers, as I'll call them, have a general direction. They are traveling with a purpose, but a less-defined purpose. Every now and then, they pull up the directions on their phone because sometimes they can get lost in traffic or the haze of the open road. There are plenty of mirages in the desert.

A third group is the Rubber-Neckers. People in this category don't have a philosophy guiding them. They don't have a concise vision of where they are moving. They are simply driving on the highway of life, looking at each thing that comes at them, giving no thought to its impact. Taking a few exit ramps to check out the World's Largest Windmill, just for the heck of it.

A life philosophy is personal. We don't carry signs on our neck advertising our reason for being somewhere. We find our purpose and articulate our philosophy with ourselves and those we wish to share it with. Then we continue about our day.

How can we maintain our purpose? What tools can we use to be in the left lane, away from the distractions of big windmills?

“Away” means not being distracted from the gentle pull of the short-term rushes.

The pull of daily life that causes us, myself included, to be Swervers. We tell ourselves, “It's easy to drive with traffic,” or “I already know the way, I don't need to look at directions.”

Living in the left lane takes dedication, consistency, and, most of all, knowing your purpose.

It's difficult. It requires resets. It’s a path filled with failures.

I’ve found accountability in a weekly mastermind group. Talking with a trusted group and writing down goals has reduced the swerves and helped me to keep my mission at the forefront of big decisions. Left-Laners, Swervers, and Rubber-Neckers are all on the road with us. Where will our journeys go?